Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday And No Knit Group

Looking out my window today, I was undecided whether to tackle the drive to Meaford for knit group.

 But having been away last week, I really wanted to go.  So I tried.  In 15 minutes, I managed to get about 3 minutes from home. Poor visibility,  roads not ploughed  and snow falling like crazy.  The local radio station advised  'Stay off the roads' and for once I agree with them.

Back at home now, I will knit   with the girls in spirit.  With extra yarn left over from  Kitimat,

 I have decided to knit matching  mittens.

 I wondered if  I might have to alter the depth of the pattern.  After all, hands are not the same depth as heads, are they?

But - ta da - turns out they are.  When I laid my hand against the hat, it fit perfectly.  The stitch count is the only difference between the two pieces.  The colour work is exactly as written in the hat pattern.  And now I know if I ever lose my ruler and wonder how deep to make my hat - just hold my hand to my head.

If this snow doesn't stop, I'll need this warm and cozy pair asap.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One House Cleared Out. One Overstuffed.

Back home now, from a  few days of clearing out Dad's house, I wonder  how is it that my house is now overstuffed.  It seemed to me that all I said over those few days was "No Thanks."  " I don't want that."  Nonetheless, I arrived home with a van full of stuff.

One of the things I brought home are some of Dad's CDs.  A lover of music for sure, his greatest love was reserved for the Big Band/Dance music, seconded only his love for Dixie Land Jazz.   Music was played at home, 24/7 - the louder the better.  He thinks his bad hearing is a result of the bombs during the war.  However, those gigantic speakers played a role, I am sure.

Last night I created a few playlists and as I type I am listening to one I dubbed War Time.  Vera Lynn, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and the like.  With a few speeches by Winston Churchill and 'Ike' Eisenhower thrown in for a full dose of patriotism.  The kind of music that makes you sit up straighter.

There was a bit of knitting done - I finished Kitimat.
 It is a great hat.  Free pattern on ravelry.

Mine is knit with stash yarn.  The white yarn,  long ago, lost it's label.  The green, however, is a 100% Peruvian Wool from Diamond's Luxury Collection.

Thanks  again  to one of  Sandy B's, sister Sue's, great, yarn give-aways.

It is a fun and - most important for me over the last few days  - easy knit.  One of those pieces that looks almost as good on the wrong side as on the right side.

Perfect for the days you leave the house before your eyes are open.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Different Thursday

No knit group for me today.  I am off to Dad's for a few days.  Last week, my Dad was re-hospitalized and is still there.   If the doctors can get him back on track, he will go to a retirement home when released. 

So - Sis and I are to get the house ready for  market.  This morning, I leave to help with that process.  Sorting, cleaning, painting, etc etc etc.

But I leave you with some progress on my Geodesic cardi.  Not much but some.

 The back - complete!  Yippee!  One dropped stitch, marked,  as you can see which I will tie off.  Otherwise done! 

The front.  Working on the left front at the moment, I realized as I snapped the photo that I am about half way to the top.  There are 8 tucks to be knit and I am working #4.

The yarn is fine, splitting and IMO does not make for the most consistent or perfect    or neat knitting.  I am hoping that blocking will put those stitches in their place.

Geodesic is not the knitting I am taking to Dad's.  Required at a time like this is a  small project with thicker yarn.  I am taking pattern and yarn for Kitimat.  A Fig Cottage Free pattern that suits the times exactly.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Clever Construction

Earlier this fall I bought a How-To Book and DVD by Diana Sullivan.  Diana, from Austin Texas, is a machine knitter extraordinaire.  She is also very generous in sharing her knowledge with her blog/ravelry readers.

One of her 'for sale' items is the package I purchased.  A pattern book and DVD  for several different sizes of  several different styles  of machine-knit slippers.  Considering myself , despite several years of ownership, a machine-knitting novice still, and trying hard to change that situation, I looked forward to elevating my skill set under Diana's tutelage.

But then came Dad's heart attack, Christmas, Dad, Florida, Dad, fatigue, Dad - you get the picture.
Yesterday,  with a winter snow storm forcing me to stay home and indoors, proved to be  the perfect time to try the slippers.

I did it!!!  I can't believe I did it.  I mastered the pattern.  Even my non-verbal hubby was impressed and  raved about my talents when he saw the slippers.  He said "Good for you."

You can see by this picture that the slippers are two different colours.
 I used stash yarn and ran out of one colour.  No matter.  This pair with their less than perfect technique will be mine.

This is the No Sew, Lined Slipper from Diana's book Footnotes -  Goodies For Happy Feet.  The lining is knit first and without a break the knitting continues on to the outside of the slipper.

 Then the final piece-de-resistance is the no-sew, knit-together bit at the end of the construction that knits the lining to the slipper.  It comes off the machine ready to wear.  I made this pair in about 90 minutes - a newbie time frame, I'm sure.  Think how quickly I can knit them once I know what I am doing.

The slippers, being a double layer of wooly, yarny goodnes are super warm.  Just what is needed for our minus 14'c day.  (About 4'f I think for my non-celcius readers.)

My feet are warm. I've learned a new skill.  I am super thrilled.  Thanks, Diana.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Block Head

Such slow progress I am making on my Imitation Embroidery Socks and my Geodesic Cardi.  Fine, fine yarn  coupled with my  limited, available  knitting time these days, means little progress.  Let's just say  - far from finished, both.

And in the mean time I dream of doing something with fatter yarn.  Something that would  knit up faster.  Fatter should equal faster, and  I do hanker after thicker yarn and needles and a quick knit.

Along with fatter and faster, I have also been dreaming about colour-block knitting  lately.  In early January, I downloaded an Laura Aylor pattern - she was giving away one free pattern per customer to celebrate her birthday.  I chose City Block Shawl.  I spotted this pattern when first released and immediately listed it in my favourites.  Thinking - because of it's simplicity -  I could replicate it on my own without spending any money I nonetheless know enough not to look a gift horse in the mouth and quickly 'purchased' my freebie.  Thanks Laura.

Colour block sweaters also have been calling my name.  And since I have some Deep Purple Lamb's Pride Worsted left over from my Vignette

 and a couple of skeins of the same yarn in orange and olive green, (gotta'  have some green) I indeed see a colour--block sweater happening.  Something like this  or this  or this.

All in adult sizes of course.  Bright, lively, fun  and fast.   I am trying to discipline myself to not start a colour-block knit until Geodesic is finished.  But discipline has never been my strong suit.  Being a block head sounds great right about now.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Rut and Other Thoughts

The other day my post regarding all my green projects brought lots of comments.  Both pro and con.

Christy J, Kristyn and Denise all voted for staying the course.  Green it is.  Thoughts such as 'if you come back to it always, then it is meant to be'.  Christy J even told me a story of a friend of hers who loved and wore orange so much than on her last day of teaching prior to retirement, the kids at school started a 'Wear Orange ' campaign to honour their teacher.

On the other side of the coin were Julia and Linda.   They thought perhaps it is time for a change and Linda votes to see me in bright daring new colours.

Once thing about this overdose of green - it has started me thinking about a change.  At least when I walk into the LYS in the future, I might - may - hold  a non-green colour to my chin.  It's a start.

Ann, like many of you, commented on the blog under the banner 'annymous'.  Ann said she 'hoped it worked'.  Yes it does work to comment under 'annymous'.  What it doesn't allow is for me to reply to your comment by email.  Under anonymous, the return email address is 'No Reply' and my responding email just flies off into cyber space.    Anonymous comments are also the reason that one needs to use word verification.  Curlerchick doesn't use word verification because she only accepts comments from those with an ID.  But as Ann asked - if one does not have a blog or use google - how does one establish an ID for commenting?  Does anyone have that answer?

And lastly, my Dad is not well. He has been re-admitted to hospital.  The doctors are walking a fine line between too much and not enough medication.  Without the meds, he will experience heart failure.  Too much medication - as seems to be the case at the moment -wreaks havoc on  such things as thin blood, balance, appetite and fatigue.    My sisters and I  keep saying 'Poor Dad'. 

Thanks for reading everyone and have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Snowy, winter weather kept many home from knitting today.  Pity.  Because those of us that were there, got to see some  v-e-r-y  interesting things today.

First up, was Wilma's yarn bowl.  Her wooden yarn bowl.  Not finished yet, but brought  to knit group to garner opinions for her wood-working husband from those who would know - the knitters.

Lovely.  Perfect.  Non-breakable.  Just right.  Those were the remarks I heard.  I would add - light-weight.  Well done, Dirk.

Wilma also brought the Fried Chicken Mitten pattern with her today.  Around the room she went diagnosing our thumbs.

 I, it seems have the 'pruned branch' style of thumb.  My other choices were chicken leg or shampoo bottle lid.  The Fried  Chicken  Mitten pattern offers thumb opening styles to suit whatever type of thumb you might have. 

 After a look at the new, locally-crafted, knitting accessory and a discussion of thumb types, Nicki brought out her log-cabin pieces.  Knit from sock yarn, Nicki has been working on them for a long time.  A couple of years at least.  Over time most of us have   contributed to her sock-yarn stash for this special project.  It was fun to spot some of our socks in  her squares.  

 And in it's proposed, glorious layout, here it is.
That bright blue with red/yellow stripes in the closest square on the left is from the socks I knit for Dorothy.

One might think that Nicki knit these squares for a blanket.  But no, she intends to wear this piece.  Once sewn together it will be  a shawl. Nicki our knitter with style, our woman with a certain panache will wear it well.  Can't wait to see it on you Nicki.

 And speaking of sewing it together - Nicki has asked me to check with the blogshere for suggestion on how best to do that.  Should she do a 3 needle bind-off of sorts by picking up stitches through the finished edges?  Mattress stitch?  Crocheted edgings?  Other suggestions?  What would be the best way to sew it together?

A yarn bowl, a thumb shaped like a chicken leg and a sock-yarn shawl.  I bet there are many who live their entire lives totally unaware of such things.  Pity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is This What A Rut Looks Like ?

Often, I am teased for my affection fordevotion to, tunnel-vision focus on the colour green.  When that happens I ask myself - "Am I a woman who knows what  looks good on me, or am I stuck in a rut?"

I have always thought of that question as rhetorical.  Truly I thought the answer was found in the first half of the question.  But just now, I seem to have three knits in my basket or queue and they are all green.  I am beginning to wonder if this is what a rut looks like.

Started in the late fall, I am knitting  a green Geodesic Cardigan
From The Best Of Knitscene, it is one I have long admired.  But while I have admired the style and the finished projects on ravelry, I have to say I am not enjoying knitting the cardi.  The yarn is so fine  - in my case Berrroco Ultra Alpaca Fine - that I don't find it plays nicely with me.  Last night, however, there was a  break- through. 

I have passed the great divide for underarms and body parts.  The end is in sight - if  I squint.

Then there are the green socks I started over Christmas while sitting with dad. 
They are the Imitation Embroidery pattern from my sock book.  Easily memorized, fun to do,  but - green.

Next up, is this sweater.  Designed by my friend Patti-Ann from London Yarns, it is a DK weight pullover, with beaded trim.  My intentions are a lower neck line.  At my age a high neck line makes me resemble a turkey.

All of which got me to thinking - That's a heck of a lot of green.  Maybe this is what a rut looks like.  Maye, just maybe, it is time to throw out those colour chips from the decades old 'having my colours done' and branch out.  No time like the present.

Monday, January 14, 2013


In the fall, when I switched my seasonal wardrobes, I placed three garments on my dresser top.
 They all needed re-working to make them comfortable-wearing  pieces.

And there they sat.  Through the fall, Christmas and into the new year.  This weekend, My Mother's voice saying 'enough is enough' came to mind. I couldn't let them sit on top of the dresser forever and unless I stopped saying 'I want to fix those some day' that is exactly what would happen. So off my doff  I got and into my needle kit I went.

The Noro Vest,
knit from a vintage pattern a couple of years ago was too tight, high and uncomfortable across the centre, back neck.  The shoulder seams had been sewed with cast off stitches.  I undid them and  re-attached them with  a 3 needle bind off.  And - I did so while cheating.  The front shoulders seemed to come too far across the back leaving only a tight, narrow, centre space for the back neck. Three times while doing the 3 needle bind off, I worked 2 front shoulder stitches together. That gave me - all together - 6  addditional stitches in the centre-back portion. It seems to have done the trick.  With the opening  6 stitiches wider, it is much more comfortable.

The back neck stitches had also been cast off as per pattern.  I un-did them and sewed the live stitches to the back in a curving, quarter moon fashion that gives me  a looser and wider back neck.  Much more comfortable.

The mohair vest, machine knit last spring,  is  was one of those loosey-goosey garments so trendy today.  The fronts were knit as rectangles, that went completely across the front body, shoulder to shoulder.  The idea being that when it is worn, the extra-wide, front fabric drapes from it's seamed shoulder to form a drapey, piointy, hangy-down front piece.  As I said, very trendy, but a style that swamps me.  Why did I knit a piece so unsuitable to my short frame,  you ask?  Good question.  A moment of folly, I suppose.

The repair I had in mind for this piece was to sew and cut on the diagonal, from bottom front corner to seamed shoulder then with left-over yarn, knit a rolling edge along the front to finish it off.  But, luckily, when I stood in front of the mirror to see exactly what needed to happen, I realized the light-weight mohair was so malleable that I could simply fold it back to where I wanted it and tack it down.  Easy!  And I am all about easy. 

Two repairs  done.  Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  What took me so long  to get started?

The next repair will take longer.  The bottom sweater in the dresser pile  is my Sit-Com Cardi. The crew-shaped neck  always wants to turn back/under  into a 'V' shape  so I have decided to let it have it's way.  I will re-do the neck as a 'V' neck.  Also, I seem to have grown a bit as the sweater now strikes me as being too short.  My leftover, half- ball of yarn I will use to lengthen the sweater.

 I sense a lot of ripping back before this repair can begin.  Don't look for it soon.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Looky, Looky

Look at what came off my knitting machine needles this week.
The cutest little slippers.  Called Summer Moccasins, they are  not the thickest or  warmest slippers I have ever knit, but instead, a good purse slipper or a little something to slip on for a chilly, summer morning.

In the late fall I purchased Diana Sullivan's DVD and How To Book called  
Footnotes - Goodies For Happy Feet.  It contains several patterns, in several sizes, for machine knit slippers/sock. 

Yesterday was the first I have had the time to work on a pair.  Although my goal is to eventually make the lined, no-sew slippers, I found them a bit beyond my machine skills. 

My second attempt was the very easy Summer Moccasin. 

Quick and cute.

 I have a bit of a rolling top at the back of the slipper,  but think I can correct that with a few decreases as the I Cord is applied. 

Yes, that would be attached, machine-knit, I Cord!  Thanks for asking, I did indeed master that.

Thanks, Diana for a great pattern that even a neophyte like me can follow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

For me, the first knit group of 2013 was delayed one week, by my Florida trip.  Today then, it was good to get back to needles and laughter. 

Gail finished her diagonal scarf.
 Knit with Bernat Mosaic, famous for it's brilliant colours.  And Gail's scarf is no exception. Gorgeous.

Sharon, working with Americo Cotton Flamme is working on a shawl.  Great colour, Sharon.

Doreen looks normal.  She doesn't seem to have an 'S'  or an 'L' on her forehead.  Yet here she is, again, finishing a sweater started by a friend. 
It is a typical Lopi ski sweater and Doreen is being driven crazy by the colour work.  I knit most of her knitting for her today.  How much will be done by next week I wonder.

Nicki brought her little?? bobbin I would call it, to wind her hand-spun onto.
  I was interested in this very practical method of  holding the fleece while spinning.

As an extra treat to start the year, Doreen brought the Christmas goodies she forgot to bring in December.  Last year's  goodies we told her.  Tasty nonetheless and a good start to knit group 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What Year Is It?

Our crazy Christmas and Florida trip has left me with catch-up. 

My first night back in Canada I put the finishing touches on a new hat.  Started in 2012.  Finished in 2013.  To what year does it belong?  Last year, the same thing happened with Fred's red wool sweater and I gave it to the first finished object of the new  year.  This year, I  am feeling opposite and am listing   the hat as the last FO of 2012.  Just to be different.

The hat is the uber cute Diamond Head Beret.  A free ravelry pattern.  

The pattern is designed by Petra Johnson and to receive the free copy, all you do is email Petra.  Somehow, I got befuddled and instead of Petra emailed this  knitter.   Lucky for me, she happened to have a copy and forwarded it to me, which resulted in me  acquiring a new Northern Ontario ravelry friend.  Thanks, Tee.  Fun.  I love the www.

My hat is knit with Araucania yarn I purchased several years ago at the KW Knitters Fair.

 It didn't at all work out for the sweater for which it was planned and ever since  I have been pecking away at the large quantity that came home with me, using it for slippers and hats.  It is lovely and soft and 100% wool but no way does it knit  to stated gauge.  Each project is a bit of a test. 

This time all worked out well.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Still In 2012

Just before Christmas, Fred asked me for another scarf.  You may recall the He's Worth It scarf I knit for him earlier in the fall.  Being of such fine quality yarn, he  I  thought he should not wear it to go fishing down at the river.  Thus the request - a fishing scarf.

When we headed out for our Christmas travels I stuffed a bag full of co-ordinating, guy-coloured,  stash yarns and   a 5.5 needle.  With lots of knitting time while doing our elder care, I managed to finish the scarf in record time.

Pattern:  My own.  Cast on  150  ??  200??  -  my memory fails me -  let's say  a bunch of stitches.  Work in garter stitch - that is 2 rows - of each colour, working through the colours and and repeating them randomly.
The colours I selected are mostly rusts, browns and greys.  With one deep red to attract the fish   brighten the scarf.  To give it some symmetry - an unusual design feature for me - I began and ended the scarf with the same colour and knit 4 garter ridges instead of one, to give the edges some definition.  Nothing too good for those fish,  you know. 

The only thing about knitting a lengthwise, garter-stitch scarf to  meet Fred's specification of 'no fringe' is that there were lots of ends to weave in.  Since I did 2 rows of knitting before changing colour, all those tails were at the same end of the scarf.  That did make for a slightly wonky, thicker-at-one-end scarf,  but I'm guessing the fish won't mind.

Fred likes it and hopes it will enable him to stay out longer when cold-weather fishing.  Hmmmm - more knitting time for me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year - a day late and a dollar short as the saying goes. The Christmas season was very different for us this year.  With  Dad's heart attack (he's 'coming along' as they say) and son #2 and his Lady of Spain flying off to Spain on Christmas Day, things were different and very quiet for Fred and I.  No turkey, no mince pies and no gifts to buy, wrap or exchange.

The latter, because  several months ago, we decided our gift to our 3 grand kids and each other this year would be a trip to Florida and Disney for one week at New Year's. One of my sisiter's was going for the full Christmas break with her young-adult children and we thought  "Why not?"

Our grannd kid's first trip on an airplane. Their first trip to Florida.  Heck - even their first  out-of-province trip.  Talk about excitement!  Add to that the grandparent stresses. Can we get 3 kids, who are not our kids, out of the country?  How will they handle the airplane flight?  Will the flights get delayed?  How will we all cope?

Needless worries all.  The trip was great.  The kids were wonderful.  A good time was had by all.  The kids have been returned to their parents and we are now back to our quiet, normal routine.  But take a look at the fun we had.